November 12-18, 2022 – virtual
From the local to the global, how can social constructionist ideas and practices help us create and bring forward new ways of going on together? Given the global challenges facing us in this increasingly complex and potentially volatile world, there is a vital need for innovative ideas and practices of promise for our ways of relating. Social constructionist ideas and practices have offered new insights and inspired wide ranging practices addressing these challenges. This virtual Gathering, a kind of un-conference, was a week-long series of virtual events offering all of us the opportunity to share ideas and practices that bring insights and inspiration for addressing these challenges.
Recordings of some of the plenary sessions are available on our Taos Institute 2022 Gathering YouTube channel.
November 4-6, 2021 – virtual
The world is ready…the future is at hand… for replacing assembly-line classrooms with the vitalizing powers of relating. The directions are clear: from standardization to dialogue, from control to co-creation, and from regimentation to collaboration. Here lie the wellsprings of creativity, caring, and curiosity. Here we prepare for a global future in which inclusion, innovation, and improvisation are essential for a world in harmony. This virtual conference was designed for sharing and exploring practices, experiences, and inspirations in all aspects of education – within classrooms, communities, and outward to the circling globe.
This virtual conference was for educators, administrators, students, parents, school counselors, school leaders, change agents, and everyone who is interested in moving education, educational systems and educational practices towards relational, collaborative and appreciative ways of teaching/learning.
June 27-29, 2019 – Brno, Czech Republic
Plenary speakers, workshops, poster sessions and dialogue spaces. Colleagues from around the world came together to explore and demonstrate: deepening and expanding Collaborative-Dialogic Practice across contexts, cultures and disciplines.
Relational Welfare: Organizational Capacity & Relational Leadership Practices
The 5th Nordic Conference on Relational Welfare
June 26-28, 2019 – Aarhus, Denmark
We examined how leadership builds and develops organizational capacity and relational welfare practices. Relational welfare calls for a new orientation in leadership. The focus moves away from managing people into fostering productive relationships across silos and bureaucratic structures. It is a leadership that encourages innovation over stability, process over structures, participation over regimentation, and solutions over services. It is widely accepted that leadership and public welfare must be rooted in relational practices. Such practices unleash enormous potential and demonstrate great promise for the future of leadership and public welfare.
International Learning Festival: The Future is Now!
Part 3 of an ongoing series
June 4-6, 2019 – Helmond, The Netherlands
This conference was an International Learning Festival. Sharing, exploring and creating new ideas and practices, and dedicated to the welfare of our youth in our educational systems. The pace of life continues to quicken. New ideas, innovations, movements, and challenges rapidly circle the globe. New technologies transform the landscape of cultural life. Our children and youth live in an unprecedented swirl of information, opinion, and values.
The Third International Learning Festival 2019 – Norway
April 25-26, 2019 – Nesbru in Asker, Norway
Giving life to education. Learning together, living together.
Participants came together to share, to learn, and to create in a conference devoted to envisioning and inspiring the future education of youth.
The Taos Institute Silver Jubilee
November 8-11, 2018 – Cancun, Mexico
- Celebrated the Taos Institute’s Silver Anniversary
- Explored 25 years of innovation in social construction theory and practice
- Met colleagues and friends from around the world
- Welcomed a new generation of scholars and practitioners
- Created opportunities for dialogue, sharing practices, performance and fun!
- Click here to see the full program from this conference.
Summer Leadership Lab
July 3-4, 2018 – Denmark
Sponsored by Mannaz and the Taos Institute
The objective of the innovative laboratory was to bridge the gap between different management perspectives and bring new ideas for the visionary leadership of the future, so managers and employees can succeed in an even more complex and challenging reality.
International Conference in Collaborate Practices and Human Centered Governance
Relational Welfare – Relational Leadership
June 27-29, 2018 – Aarhus, Denmark
The 4th International Conference in Collaborate Practices and Human Centered Governance. In the previous three years we have explored the practices of relational welfare with guests from the UK, Norway, Sweden, US and Denmark. This year we expanded our focus to include practices of leadership. We learned that relational welfare calls for a new orientation in leadership. The focus moves away from managing people into fostering productive relationships across silos and bureaucratic structures. It is a leadership that encourages innovation over stability, process over structures, participation over regimentation, and solutions over services.
An International Learning Festival – Collaborative Innovations in Education
November 16-17, 2017 – Roskilde, Denmark
This conference was dedicated to the welfare of the many at-risk students in our educational systems –immigrants, special needs children, those from broken or dysfunctional homes, the impoverished, the alienated and unmotivated. Many struggle, many fail, many are marginalized, and many will never complete their education. This conference focused especially on collaborative innovations in theory and practice for improving the conditions and futures of these students. How can we cross boundaries between teachers and the taught, school and home, care-givers and those they serve, and local schools and national policy makers? How can we expand the domain in which we work with each other and not on each other? The conference was for teachers, scholars, school administrators, care-giving professionals, representatives from government – and students alike!
Attractor/Taos Summer Institute – Leadership in Turbulent Times
July 4-5, 2017 – Copenhagen, Denmark
The summer institute 2017 was to learn more about the future of management and organization development, when international experts, researchers and practitioners come together to share their knowledge. This year we put a special focus on communication and management for future organizations. How do we expand potentials and create better realities in organizations with a focus on dialogue – and relational leading? For this year’s Summer Institute, participants were invited into a collaborative conference. There were creative workshops on the topic that shared knowledge, debate, dialogue and presentations that gave you a new perspective or inspiration for better management and better organizations. The Summer Institute 2017 included:
- More than 20 sessions and workshops
- Breakfast and lunch all day
- Exclusive “Conference-dinner”
- Presenters’ slides for the conference
3rd International Conference of Collaborative & Dialogic Practices
March 30-April 2, 2017 – Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
The Department of Psychology and Education at the Universidad de La Laguna, the Community of the International Certificate in Collaborative and Dialogic Practices – a program supported by the Taos Institute and the Houston Galveston Institute- UmansenRed School of Psychology and ENDIÁLOGO, Spanish Association of Collaborative and Dialogic Practices were pleased to present the Third International Conference on Collaborative and Dialogic Practices.
The Third International Conference of Collaborative and Dialogic Practices was a continuation of the First and Second Latin American ones organized in 2013 and 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Tucuman, Argentina. From the first moment we wanted to honor individuals and organizations that made it possible to start these biannual activities that in this third edition we decided to become international given the special characteristics of its organizers, partners and participants; especially the Board of Directors and the entire team of Directors of the International Certificate in Collaborative and Dialogic Practices Program in the world.
In addition, its special location, the Canary Islands, a not only geographical but also cultural bridge between Latin America, Africa and Europe, made this space suited to continue inviting us to think and act from the local to the global. We maintained our traditions and ancestral memories while we felt part of an increasingly interconnected world that has the necessity of new ways of dialogue and collaboration to open up possibilities towards greater social justice.
Relational Practices in Health & Healthcare
November 10-12, 2016 – Cleveland, Ohio, United States
This important conference explored new and exciting practices in healthcare that focus on the critical need for relational, collaborative and appreciative ways of working with, being with, and engaging in heath and healthcare environments. Participants joined with other innovative leaders and practitioners from universities, healthcare organizations, and community groups as we shared, explored and discussed what works in bringing about synchrony, understanding, cross fertilization, and continuous learning within the healthcare systems and the relationships that make healing possible. They met and engaged with key thinkers as well as the everyday practitioner who is doing amazing work in healthcare through lectures, workshops, dialogues, posters, and panels. This was a must-attend conference for those on the cutting edge and those who wanted to learn more about collaborative, appreciative and inter-professional health practices.
8th Annual Summer Institute
June 29-July 1, 2016 – Copenhagen, Denmark
For the 8th time in a row the Taos Institute and Attractor/Ramboll hosted a
Summer Institute. It was held from 29th of June to 1st of July 2016 in
Copenhagen. Along with the TAOS Institute, we welcomed you to a conference
where you met renowned international practitioners and researchers within
fields such as consulting, organizational development, leadership, coaching
and process facilitation.
Participants learned more on topics such as management, organizational development, change management, coaching, process consultation and communication. Once again Taos Institute partnered AttractorCourses in creating a very special atmosphere where dialogue, learning, relationships and new knowledge were the main purposes of the conference. We invited you into the talk about both well-known and emerging ideas, facilitated by renowned international practitioners and researchers through an open and participative atmosphere. Those were three days filled with stimulation and inspirational ideas originating from all over the world.
International Learning Festival
April 13-15, 2016 – Oslo, Norway
“Inspiring learning life” was an attempt to mobilize expertise, wisdom, and creativity existing among students, teachers, researchers, leaders, businesses, opinion makers, NGO´s etc. throughout the world in the service of sharing, exploring and creating new ways of learning together. We wanted to learn from already existing practices and establish networks for inspiring and expanding learning life. The movement started here and in April 2016 we launched a festival where participants could meet face to face. After the festival we shared the insights, establish and support networks to continue the work. Most schools and organizations around the world are still based on principles emerging during the industrial revolution and frozen in an individualistic language and focus. In the contemporary context of global flows of information, innovation and change, the industrial view fails to engage the interests of students, the enthusiasm of teachers, or the needs of leaders and employees. Both the methods and content from the classroom are increasingly irrelevant to contemporary life. Costs are growing and the utility recedes. Drop-outs and medications are increasingly common. In our view the challenges we face requires collaboration. Together we need to create motivation, energy and encourage creativity and innovation relevant to our times. The overall purpose of this movement:
- To increase the motivation – and indeed the joy – of learning and teaching.
- To bring education into synchrony with emerging world conditions.
- To ensure education for all, regardless of ability or need.
- To increase the opportunities for everyone to make use of their full potential.
The Second International Relational Research Symposium
Conversations About Relational Research for Social Transformation
March 14-17, 2016 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
Participants joined in this conversation about relational research and explored research’s potential in transforming individual lives, families, organizations, communities, and the world. We entered dialogues about ways in which research can be used as a resource to produce social and personal changes that expand spaces for dialogue and participation to improve human beings’ quality of life. Thinking of research from a relational perspective invites us to consider the importance of collaboration and joint inquiry as core concepts to constructing knowledge and new possibilities. It also emphasizes the way in which its practice transforms all those who participate in it. This perspective proposes an innovative outlook on research; an outlook highlighted by its generative capacities, it’s commitment to precipitating different futures, and how it maximizes collective innovation. Thus, these conversations enable a space for us to share ideas, experiences, and transformational possibilities in research. It was a collaborative gathering to ‘explore research’ together. Not a planned program per se, but a small, dialogic, generative, collaborative, sharing working sessions to support each other’s research projects and explore collaborative possibilities.
Virtual International Relational Research Symposium
Conversations About Relational Research for Social Transformation
March 14-15, 2016 – Virtual Host Location: University of Puerto Rico
Participants joined in this virtual conversation about relational research and explored the ways research has the potential for transforming individual lives, families, organizations, communities, and the world. We entered into dialogues online at the Taos Institute Learning Community site AND using a conference calling platform for live conversations and presentations. We explored the ways in which research can be used as a resource to produce social and personal changes that expand spaces for dialogue and participation to improve human beings’ quality of life. Thinking of research from a relational perspective invites us to consider the importance of collaboration and joint inquiry as core concepts to constructing knowledge and new possibilities. It also emphasizes the way in which its practice transforms all those who participate in it. This perspective proposes an innovative outlook on research; an outlook highlighted by its generative capacities, it’s commitment to precipitating different futures, and how it maximizes collective innovation. Thus, these conversations enable a space for us to share ideas, experiences, and transformational possibilities in research. This symposium was a collaborative online gathering to ‘explore research’ together. The event design included short presentations online, followed by small group dialogues both on a conference call and in your small groups at locations around the world. The focus was to create opportunity for dialogic, generative, collaborative conversations and working sessions to learn about relational research, share examples, and support each other’s research projects. This was the first of its kind to begin the creation of a global network of students, faculty and practitioners interested in exploring collaborative possibilities.
Taos Institute Europe – 2nd Annual Meeting & Conference on Social Construction and Design
January 22-24, 2016 – Madrid, Spain
The overall theme the conference evolved around was “Social Construction and Design”. You got the opportunity to learn about the different creative methodologies for social construction and to go through experiential learning sessions on social and relational design, facilitated by various designers that shared with us their “design lens” and their ways of approaching the relational and social processes.
We learned to design new models of organizing, working and collaborating together, using our own organization, Taos Institute Europe, as a platform to practice (through hands-on design circles) how to move forward our co-created visions of a shared future. Sheila McNamee, Diana Whitney and other prominent Taos associates opened the conference with a panel on Social Construction, Design and Challenges facing us in 21st-century Europe. We learned about different design methodologies through conversations and experiences facilitated by renowned international designers–including Celiane Camargo-Borges, Jacob Storch, Luc Verheijen, Diana Whitney and others–and we used our own organization, Taos Institute Europe, as a platform to practice (through hands-on design circles) how to move forward our co-created visions of a shared future.
The conference and the TIE annual meeting is opened to associates, friends and colleagues who are interested in learning social and relational design methodologies and also to practice them by designing new ways of organizing, working and collaborating together.
7th Annual Summer Institute
July 1-3, 2015 – Copenhagen, Denmark
7th Annual Summer Institute – Attractor/Ramboll and the Taos Institute partnered to present the Summer Institute July 1-3, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark The Conference was filled with experts, inspiration, networking, conversations and knowledge, which you could take with you in your daily practice. We welcomed you to a conference where we discussed topics such as management, organizational development, change management, coaching, process consultation, and communication.
2nd Latin American Congress on Collaborative and Dialogic Practices
Conversations and Relationships which Open Possibilities
April 22-25, 2015 – Tucuman, Argentina
The Second Latin American Congress of International Certification for Collaborative and Dialogic Practices, that, like the first one which took place in Sao Paulo in November 2013, was a marvelous experience. While the Sao Paulo event was organized by Interfaci, the Tucumán conference was convened by Fesna (Tucumán) and FundaCes (Buenos Aires), in association with the Houston Galveston Institute and the Taos Institute. Thanks to the livelihood and exhilarating spirit of all the participants and speakers the Congress was a huge success, both on a professional and a personal level. We fortunate to gather over 200 attendees, some of them traveling for over 24 hours with three or more stopovers in order to join us. We had participants from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Chile, from different parts of Argentina, Norway, Denmark, the US, Spain, among others.
Beyond the Therapeutic State Collaborative Practices for Individual and Social Change
June 26-28, 2014 – Drammen, Norway
Mental health costs are soaring, drug prescriptions skyrocketing, and
diagnostic categories continue to convince us that we are mentally ill. It
is time to move beyond the therapeutic state! Most existing alternatives
focus on the individual. In contrast, this conference featured inspiring
innovations in collaborative practice. Such practices bring together
diverse conceptions of reality, values, and hopes for the future. From the
inter-change emerge new forms of life, viable for all.
The conference featured collaborative practices relevant to therapy and beyond. Discussions were enriched by practitioners and scholars from many sectors of society. In the end, it is toward a relationally oriented society we must move. And it was toward active participation in changing both practices and policies that the conference is dedicated.
Taos Institute 20th Anniversary Celebration and Conference
Social Constructionist Ideas and Practices
April 11-13, 2013 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
We joined together in Taos, New Mexico for a relational hoedown as we celebrated and shared the inspirations and innovative practices that have shaped and will continue to shape our creative constructionist community. We engaged with over 185 people in Taos, and another 90 online, (about 30 countries represented) in lively and provocative conversations that moved constructionist theory and practices forward. Gather with old friends and new in the Taos family. We had 15 participants who were at the very first Taos conference in 1993. We thank them for being a part of the Taos Institute for the past 20 years. We had 68 participants who were attending a Taos conference for the very first time in 2013.
Exploring Relational Practices in Peacebuilding, Mediation and Conflict Transformation: From the Intimate to the International
November 14-17, 2012 – San Diego, California, United States
Over 150 practitioners, academics and community members from 14 countries came together to share and create new forms of practice for peacebuilding informed by social construction. We focused on relational, collaborative, and appreciative practices for conflict transformation and mediation in families, organizations, communities, and the world. There could not have been a more important moment for this gathering. As inequality, interpersonal violence, community conflict, environmental demise, political unrest, terrorism, and general global unease proliferate, it becomes increasingly important for us to share and expand our relational resources to create peacebuilding opportunities among people, communities, and nations. Participants developed and shared ways of moving from conflict-saturated relations to collaborations across divides of meaning. Our time together was both educational and inspirational as we explored innovative ways of going on together.
Attractor/Taos Institute Summer Institute 2012
July 2-4, 2012 – Copenhagen, Denmark
For the fourth time running, Attractor was hosting a summer institute on systemic, constructionist and appreciative theory and practice. That summer the institute was again hosted in collaboration with The TAOS Institute. The venue was wonderful Copenhagen where leaders, consultants, and scholars gathered for keynote speeches, workshops, and panel discussions.
Enriching Collaborative Practices Across Cultural Borders: Constructing Alternatives in Psychotherapy, Education, Community and Organization Development, and Research Practices
March 20–23, 2012 – Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
We live in a time when national and cultural boundaries are dissolving. This continuous movement of meanings, traditions, people and practices comes with both challenges and opportunities. With an appreciation of the multiple constructions of realities and values, and a belief that collaboration is our major means of moving forward together, conference participants shared and created enriching practices in multiple professions and from a diverse number of countries.
The conference activities began with an opening ceremony that shared with us a bit of the Mayan world, through prayer, dance and music. Participants had the experience of a lifetime by observing the sunrise on the Spring Solstice at a Mayan Ruin and it was breathtaking. The conference theme connected with a new cycle of the Mayan calendar and the beginning of a new era. This moment in history calls for an exploration of the ways we relate to each other, to the knowledge of our ancestors, and to nature. The relationships fostered during the conference among the participants have continued over the time. We still hear about people who connected there and how they are collaborating today.
Attractor/Taos Institute Summer Institute 2011
July 4-6, 2011
For the third time running Attractor hosted a summer institute on systemic and appreciative theory and practice. That time with the TAOS Institute as partner. The venue was wonderful Copenhagen where leaders, consultants, and scholars gathered for key note speeches, workshops, and panel discussions. The topics range from leadership, conversations, and communication to process consultation, project management, and entrepreneurship.
Collaborative and Dialogic Practices in Therapy and Social Change: Honoring the Past and Creating the Future
April 22-24, 2010 – Cancun, Mexico
This was the Taos Institute’s first bi-lingual conference with sessions in both English and Spanish. We gathered to explore innovative practices for therapy and social change, both past and present. We honored those whose legacy has inspired (Tom Andersen, Gianfranco Cecchin, Harry Goolishian, Insoo Kim Berg, Steve de Shazer, Michael White, and Paul Watzlawick) and explored the polyphony of new practices that have emerged from the creative seeds of these legacies.
This conference brought together our systemic, narrative and relational roots, showcased the growth and innovations that have evolved from those roots, and joined us together in working towards creating a social constructionist future in therapy and social change.
The New OD – A Conference
March 18-21, 2010
NTL Institute hosted this conference and was joined by several organizations that grew out of NTL roots – i.e., the AU/NTL Master of Science in OD graduate program; Case Western Reserve’s School of Organization Behavior; The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (JABS), and The Lewin Center. In addition, this group was be joined by The Taos Institute. The Taos Institute was pleased to be a sponsor of the exciting event. More than 230 scholars and practitioners committed to exploring and shaping the future of OD gathered for 3 days. Given the reality in which we are living, rapid changes require that we create new ways of working together to assure the best possible outcomes for human systems, be they organizations, communities, or families, as we learn to live in a constantly changing reality.
Play with Purpose: Relational and Performative Practices in Everyday Life
February 5-10, 2010
Play – Learn – Innovate – Perform…key themes for this event. In all our relations we must improvise. When we do it well, there is joy, harmony, and vitality. Rational planning is replaced by skills akin to creative play. Developing and enhancing these resources was the aim of this event. What better setting for such explorations than an ocean cruise! Participants created practices for effective improvisation in a wide range of contexts – including psychotherapy, organizational development, education, community building, and personal life. We explored the ways in which theater, music, humor, movement, art, storytelling and other play/full activities can inspire and transform our relationships. Under the canopy of social constructionist theory, we engaged in multiple activities designed to enhance both conceptual consciousness and relational skill. “Playshop” sessions will give participants a rich opportunity to put performative ideas into practice. This exciting gathering was co-sponsored by the Houston Galveston Institute and the Taos Institute. We met on a Carnival cruise ship, sailed from Galveston, Texas and made stops at Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico. We called this a “seminar at sea.” Seminar at sea sessions took place on board the ship and in Progreso; the day in Cozumel was a free day. The venue and theme lend themselves to reflexive exploration and performance of relational practices in a wide range of contexts. We want to thank all those who joined us as we ventured the high seas of play, improvisation, performance and humor to expand our personal and professional lives.
August 20-23, 2009 – Copenhagen, Denmark
The Constructing Worlds Conference was an international conference held in Copenhagen – Denmark. It was truly an innovative and co-creative event, with a starting point in social constructionist, systemic, and appreciative ideas and practices, as they have emerged across a variety of fields. The conference was specifically designed to bring together professionals and students in:
- Organizational leadership and change
- The helping professions (therapy, social work, and counseling)
- Teaching and Learning
The Constructing Worlds Conference was organized with a mix of presentations, workshops and Open Space to provide maximum opportunity for sharing thought and experiences and learning new ways of praxis. With a blend of scholars and practitioners across these related professional fields, our aspirations for educational and creative outcomes are very high. The Constructing Worlds Conference was a learning event with enormous potentials for the future. Systemic and constructionist ideas now move across domains of practice. New ideas and new change-oriented practices emerge in multiple venues. This conference provided a major means of sharing these ideas and practices across borders – of schools of thought, of professional life and of nations. Our hope is not only for mutual illumination, but for fostering new collaborative relationships, and an unleashing of creative potentials far into the future. Ultimately we hope that our collective efforts throughout the conference will contribute to life-giving relationships in families, communities, schools, organizations, and more.
Dialogues that Deliver: Generative Practices in Collaboration, Conflict and Community
September 25-28, 2008 – Sarasota, Florida, United States
The Taos Institute sponsored a unique learning opportunity where participants came together to interact with practitioners and academics discovering and experimenting with dialogic practices that deliver. Participants joined in a forum for sharing across multiple arenas of action.
- Created a context for the collaborative creation of new ideas around dialogue.
- Engaged in a weaving of theory, practice, conversation, nature, and good fun.
- Joined in an opportunity for generating further resources for social change through dialogue.
The conference was of particular interest to practitioners and academics from any profession concerned with personal or social change.
Cultural Clashes and the Social Construction of an Ecology of Cultures and People
May 24-25, 2008 – Poznan, Poland
Sponsored by the Institute of Ethnololgy and Cultural Anthropology, Adam Mickielwcz University and co-sponsored by the Taos Institute. Addressing global flow of peoples and information, cultural conflict, competing paradigms of knowledge, ideological differences and potentials for dialogue.
Transformative Dialogues – A TI Summer Workshop Institute
June 24-29,2007 – Durham, New Hampshire, USA
The Summer Workshop Series brought together academic leaders and outstanding practitioners from diverse professional fields for Transformative Dialogues with an international array of over 100 participants from 18 countries. Each morning began with a thought-provoking plenary followed by a day of workshops. The participants told us it was the best learning gathering they had ever attended.
Social Construction and CARING Relationships
May 18-19, 2007 – Lugano, Switzerland
Taos Institute worked in collaboration with Centro Formazione al Dragonato and Taos Associate Christina Meier to present this conference. Taos presenters included: Kenneth Gergen, Harlene Anderson, Imelda McCarthy, Tom Strong. The conference focused on central ideas and practices emerging within the dialogues on social construction. What are the central ideas of social construction? What new ideas emerge about the nature of self, relationships, meaning, and knowledge? What is the relationship of social construction to constructivism, cognitive behavioral therapy, and systemic approaches? What is shared? What is different? What new ideas emerge about the nature of human problems, suffering, and therapeutic practice? How can constructionist practices provide an alternative to drugs and diagnosis? How do practices of narrative therapy, brief therapy and reflecting teams fit into the picture? How do constructionist ideas and practices relate to issues of global conflict and its reduction? To illustrate and amplify, the conference featured significant developments in therapeutic practice. Centre stage was given to:
- Postmodern Therapy
- Collaborative Counselling
- The Fifth Province Approach
- Buddhist Applied Psychology
Social Construction: A Celebration of Collaborative Practices – in Organizations, Education, Therapy, Social Work, Medicine, Communities and Daily Life
October 6-9, 2005 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
The conference was of particular interest to practitioners from any profession concerned with personal or social change. It served as a forum for generating further resources for social change. We created a space for sharing across multiple arenas of action. The conference was organized to build a context for the collaborative creation of new ideas along with a weaving of theory, practice, dialogue, nature, and lots of good fun. It was an opportunity for generating further resources for social change.
Transforming Dialogues: Changing Practice
April 10, 2003 – League City, Texas, United States
A special conference, co-sponsored by the Houston Galveston Institute and the Taos Institute was held in League City, Texas. Over 100 participants engaged in transformative experiences that informed their practices. It was truly a collaborative learning conference that challenged and extended our current practice through exploring social constructionism and dialogical experience. There were plenaries by: Harlene Anderson, Ken Gergen, David Pare and Stan Witkin; and theme sessions run by: Harlene Anderson, Saliha Bava, Adrienne Chambon, Robert Cotter, Sharon Cotter, Jose Bayona, Ken Gergen, Mary Gergen, Thelma Jean Goodrich, Sue Levin, Sheila McNamee, David Paré, Sally St. George, Stan Witkin and Dan Wulff. Not only did this conference bring together social constructionist theory and practice, it also was a special celebration of the 25th anniversary of HGI and the 10th anniversary of TI.
Dialogue & Deliberation
October 2, 2002 – Alexandria, Virginia, United States
October 2, 2002. The Taos Institute joined with the The National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, Alexandria, Virginia, USA, to bring together dialogue and deliberation leaders in a welcoming, respectful and informal atmosphere in order to work towards five goals:
1. defining and clarifying our work and our field
2. knowledge-building and sharing information
3. building skills
4. meeting and getting to know our colleagues in the field
5. initiating collaborative projects.
Meeting these goals has the potential to greatly strengthen the dialogue community and, eventually, the practices of dialogue and deliberation. There were 44 organizations that have committed to helping ensure that these goals are met – before, during and after the conference. For more information see: http://www.thataway.org
Performing The World: An Exciting Conference for All
October 12-14, 2001 – Long Island, New York, United States
The conference was co-sponsored by Performance of a Lifetime, a New York based training and consulting firm with a performance approach to personal, professional, and organizational development and the Taos Institute. The program emphasized diverse forms of interaction and participatory performance, as well as plenary sessions with dialogue among conference presenters. Ken Gergen, Director of the Taos Institute, and Fred Newman, founder of Performance of a Lifetime led off with a joint presentation called “Performance: Act before you think”. Mary Gergen, a Taos Institute founder, joined several others, in a plenary session on performance in everyday life. Mary and Ken also teamed up for a workshop entitled Relational Realities: Performing Theory. Other founders of the Taos Institute included Harlene Anderson, who presented a workshop entitled Performing Therapeutic Realities and Sheila McNamee, whose topic was Educational Performance. Frank Barrett, Taos Institute associate, made music with the audience in a plenary session entitled “Improvisation and Organizational Life.”
The First AI International Conference – A Landmark Event
September 30-October 3, 2001 – Baltimore, Maryland, United States
The Taos Institute was one of the many sponsors of the First International Conference on Appreciative Inquiry: Accelerating Positive Change, that took place in Baltimore, September 30 – October 3, 2001. This conference, which took place just three weeks after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the US Pentagon, brought over 500 people together from around the world. The topic of inquiry for the plenary sessions took on new meaning as participants explored how business might serve as an a gent of world benefit.
This conference brought together Taos Institute’s founders David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney, Ken and Mary Gergen, and Suresh Srivastva. Taos associates presenting at the conference were Frank Barrett, Jane Watkins, Jim Ludema, Barbara Sloan, Anne Radford, Bliss Browne, Bernard Mohr, Jane Seiling, Marge Schiller, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Miriam Rickets, and Jim Willis. Warren Bennis was there is spirit through a video presentation due to travel difficulties. As Robert Quinn, from University of Michigan, writes in his recent book Change the World, “Appreciative Inquiry is revolutionizing the field of organization development”.
Systemic Social Constructionism in Action: An International Conference Celebrating Hope
July 1, 2001 – Luton, England
This shared venture between the KCC Foundation of London, the University of Luton and the Taos Institute was a gathering of original thinkers and practitioners to explore the perspectives and practices in understanding the ways in which we create our social worlds through relational practices.
Harboring Hope in a Sea of Change: Transforming Families, Communities, Organizations and Education
June 12, 2001 – Durham, New Hampshire, United States
This was a conference and intensive courses on Constructionist Resources for Hope and Transformation presented by The Taos Institute, The University of New Hampshire and The Portsmouth Family Institute on the beautiful campus of the University of New Hampshire.
Conflict and Transformation: Constructionist Resources for Viable Families, Communities & Society
March 9, 2001 – Mexico City, Mexico
The Taos Institute in conjunction with the Instituto Mexicano de Terapias Breves, in Mexico City, held a conference for therapists, educators, organizational consultants, scholars and others who share the desire to be effective in transforming conflict into creative growth.
Social Construction and Relational Practices Conference
September 16, 1999 – Durham, New Hampshire, United States
The Taos Institute joined forces with colleagues at the University of New Hampshire to sponsor a second international, interdisciplinary conference on social constructionist practice, theory, and research. The forum explored current developments in social constructionist thought and practice. The conference theme placed emphasis on the relational practices that create and transform cultural life. Dynamic presentations by leading voices, symposia, roundtable discussions, social activities, and a casual setting created a venue for three days of engaging inquiry and exploration. Throughout the conference, emphasis was on bringing social constructionist theory and practice into mutually enriching dialogue.
The Spirit of Social Construction: Spirituality in Organizations, Therapy, and Social Construction
April 8-10, 1999 – New York, New York, United States
Kenneth Gergen gave a keynote at this conference. Guest Presenters included: Rev. Fred Burnham, Trinity Church in N.Y.C. Editor of Postmodern Theology, Christian Faith in a Pluralistic World. Dr. James Day, Center for the Psychology of Religion, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Author of articles on narrative and moral development. Carleton Dallery, Ph.D. MSW, and Harvard AM in Theological studies, therapist and Buddhist practitioner.
Change Practices: Constructing the Future Through Relational Inquiry
November 1998 – Phoenix, Arizona, United States
This conference was co-hosted by The Taos Institute and the Institute for Creative Change of Phoenix, AZ.
Creating the Appreciative Organization: Social Construction in Organization Development
November 1997 – Naperville, Illinoi, United States
The Taos Institute partnered with Benedictine University in Naperville, IL to host a two-day conference.
Organizing in a Multi-Voiced World: Social Construction, Innovation and Organization Change
June 1997 – Leuven, Belgium
The Taos Institute partnered with the Dept. of Work and Organizational Psychology in Leuven, Belgium and the European Institute for Advanced Management to sponsor a three-day conference.
Appreciative Inquiry Book Development Conference
October 1996 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
Associates Jane Seiling and Sue Hammond, together with Diana Whitney and David Cooperrider, met in Taos, NM with some 50 people to share practices of Appreciative Inquiry. Several books have been published as a result of the sharing these stories.
Pro/fusions of Practice
April 1996 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
This four-day conference included some 50 organizational consultants, managers, family therapists, graduate students, and others concerned with expanding the range and efficacy of practices of personal and organizational change.
Leadership and the Global Challenge: A Radical Relational Approach
October 1995 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
This four-day conference for 40+ high level managers and organizational consultants was held in Taos to explore new forms of leadership adequate to conditions of rapid change and global expansion of organizations.
Relational Practices: Social Construction in Therapy and Organization Development
April 1994 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
This four-day conference expanded the range of social constructionist ideas, with special emphasis on relational theory, to some 130 practitioners and scholars in the management, family therapy, counseling, and educational fields.
Inquiries in Social Construction
June 1993 – Durham, New Hampshire, United States
This three-day conference coordinated by Sheila McNamee brought together some 120 scholars, graduate students and practicing professionals to explore various theoretical departures in social construction and their application to wide-ranging cultural practices.
Realities and Relationships: Social Construction in Therapy and Organization Development
April 1993 – Taos, New Mexico, United States
This was the first Taos Institute conference. The four-day conference introduced a broad range of social constructionist ideas to some 130 practitioners and scholars in the management, family therapy, counseling, and educational fields.